Designing for yourself is often a particularly difficult undertaking. But when Tiek & Co. and BY DAY decided to move into and renovate a shared office space in Baton Rouge with the goal of creating a collaborative work environment, we knew we were up for the challenge. This new workspace would cement our partnership and forge a lasting creative bond between our teams.
As all teams were in interrelated design fields and possessed a common aesthetic point of view, our main design challenge was space planning. Though the mid-century modern building was already functioning as multi-tenant office space, the spaces needed to be reconfigured to meet our teams’ specific needs. With little natural light, generic finishes, inherent architectural constraints, low ceilings, and an equally low budget, our design brief was to create a bright contemporary space using cost-effective materials and furnishings.
The teams required private offices large enough for two to three people, along with public spaces that could accommodate everyone’s needs—such as in-person client meetings. Public spaces included an enlarged kitchen, a defined entry, a large conference room, a small conference room, a copy center, a sample room, and an additional restroom. We were able to meet all of our program requirements by combining and reconfiguring two suites.
Aesthetically, the challenge was to shape an identity out of a nondescript white box with a small array of awkwardly placed windows. Some cost-effective design solutions were to use prefabricated cabinetry in the kitchen, low-cost quartz counters, and ready-made drapery to cover entire walls with poor window placement. For more ambient lighting, generic flush mount fixtures were replaced with recessed lighting, and decorative lighting enhanced visual interest. To form a cohesive identity within the space, we created powerful design moments out of furnishings and accessories. Finally, to tell each company’s story and create a home-like experience for clients and team members, we pulled in rugs, contemporary furnishings, warm lighting, and bold art procured from auctions, estates, and our friends at Ann Connelly Fine Art.